An elephant can weigh as much as or more than a piano, but despite their size, elephants are the most intelligent of domesticated animals. Their extinct relatives have lived everywhere from sea level to heights of great mountains and in climates ranging from glaciers to deserts and rain forests.
For centuries, they have been extremely tolerant of humans. Because of their gentle nature, men have tamed them for such diverse tasks as logging, hunting, fighting wars and entertaining in circuses or ceremonial parades.
In the 16th through 18th centuries in northwest India at the Mughal Royal Sports arena, men placed elephants in organized fighting matches between themselves for amusement.
An all-terrain animal able to push through thick bushes, climb hills and ford rivers, elephants have been used by military commanders since before the time of Alexander the Great.
Today they are used in military campaigns because they run on vegetation, provide a high vantage point for reconnaissance and lend themselves to jungle guerrilla warfare as in recent wars in Cambodia, Southeast Asia.